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Ethiopian Heroes and Heroines
Halie Selassie (1892-1975)
Born in Ethiopia in 1892, Haile Selassie was crowned emperor in 1930 but exiled during World War II after leading the resistance to the Italian invasion. He was reinstated in 1941 and sought to modernize the country over the next few decades through social, economic and educational reforms. He ruled until 1974, when famine, unemployment and political opposition forced him from office.
Haddis Alemayehu (1910-2003)
Haddis Alemayehu was a true all-rounder who contributed to Ethiopia in many number of disciplines. First and foremost, he was arguably the single most talented Ethiopian novelist who wrote some of the most loved and admired novels to date in Ethiopia. He wrote from the heart and the stories in his novels have touched the hearts of many Ethiopians.
Abebech Gobena is an Ethiopian humanitarian, and the founder and general manager of AGOHELMA, one of the oldest orphanages in Ethiopia. She is often called the Mother Teresa of Africa.
Today, AGOHELMA, the association she founded, provides various services in addition to the orphanage itself, including formal and non-formal education, HIV/AIDS prevention activities, habitat improvement and infrastructure development, empowerment of women, among others.
Liya Kebede (1978-)
In 2005, Kebede was appointed as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. She then founded the Liya Kebede Foundation, whose mission is to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality in Ethiopia and around the world.
Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin (1936 - 2006)
Ethiopia’s greatest living playwright, and acclaimed Poet Laureate. Born in the highland village of Boda, near Ambo, west of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. While still at elementary school he wrote a play called “King Dionysus and the Two Brothers” and saw it staged in the presence, among others, of Emperor Haile Selassie.